In honor of Friday the 13th, we're looking at some slasher movie characters that maaaaybe deserved what they got a little bit.
They're not all bad dudes, but in the world of Jason and Freddy and Michael, you can't afford to be a sucker. And these 13 characters were definitely suckers.
Danny Trejo in Rob Zombie’s Halloween (2007)
In Smith's Grove Sanitarium, the staff seems to be totally made up of Malcolm McDowell, a kindly Danny Trejo, and some absurdly dysfunctional rednecks. McDowell's Loomis wants to help "cure" Michael Myers, and the rednecks seem okay with taunting the seven-foot-tall psychopath, not quite grasping that Myers could literally eat them if he wanted. Trejo, on the other hand, offers a young Michael advice on how to cope with life at the mental institution.
To repay him for his kindness, Myers drops a TV on his skull. And while we should be appalled in a "THIS proves that Myers is incurable!" way, Trejo didn't exactly do himself any favors. A man the size of a grizzly bear kills his whole family and you choose to buddy up with him? Poor Danny Trejo, of course. But maybe choose better psychopaths to form an emotional bond with than the one that could survive a rocket launcher assault.
Thumb Through Head Doctor in Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)
Okay, you're transporting Michael Myers. He's been comatose for a decade, he doesn't have any of his famous knives around, and he doesn't seem to be in a good position to choke you out either. You probably feel pretty good about your chances right now, dude. So good that you lean on Michael Myers like he's big, fleshy desk.
Then he grabs you and starts bashing your head against the wall of the ambulance. Not the worst way to go, you think as the back of your head turns into a cobbler. But then Michael Myers sticks his thumb into your forehead… to death. You literally get a finger in your skull and that's how you go. I can't say whether that's truly demeaning or not, but I can say that it teaches a lesson, and that lesson is: When you're transporting the world's most infamous serial killer, consider not treating him like he's a stool.
Crispin Glover in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
Crispin Glover has it rough in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter. His best friends all seem to kinda hate him and he dances like an eel trapped in a plastic bag. But then he loses his virginity and is asked to go get some wine by a beautiful woman. Everything's coming up Glover! Sadly, he ruins it by yelling "Where's the corkscrew!?"
The corkscrew, of course, is jammed two seconds later into his hand by Jason Vorhees. If he'd just kept his mouth shut, I'm convinced that his death would've been less ironic. He would've gotten a garden hoe to the throat, or a machete to the kneecap. But nope, he had to shout out "WHERE'S THE CORKSCREW?", so that his last thoughts were "Oh, man. THERE'S the corkscrew. That's not great."
Ted in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
Yes, there are two kills on this list from Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter. And, yes, it IS because it's a perfect slasher film. Take the death of Ted, for instance, who spends his first scene picking on Crispin Glover's character, and then decides to project old porn flicks in the middle of the cabin party. Read the room a little bit, Ted. Don't get me wrong, I've been drunk at a few gatherings and suddenly announced: "WE SHOULD WATCH THIS YOUTUBE VIDEO!" But I've never halted the fun of a bunch of people that were nice enough to invite me on a weekend excursion into the woods to pull out some soft 1940's nudie flicks.
Then Ted gets stabbed through the projector screen, which is, honestly, not as big of a party foul as the surprise porn thing.
The Yuppies in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)
In a movie about excitable cannibals, the most insufferable characters in The Texas Chainsaw 2 are the two yuppies heading to Dallas. First "Buzz" and "Rick the Prick" insult the girls at a high school for some reason, then they decide to play chicken with an unsuspecting truck driver, then they harass the local radio DJ, Stretch.
Of course, that unsuspecting truck driver happens to be driving around Leatherface, who slices up the yuppies' car (and their heads) to a song by Oingo Boingo. Not horror music. Not a suspenseful orchestral theme. Oingo Boingo's "No One Lives Forever." And using horror movie logic, that's what Buzz and Rick the Prick deserve: to get eviscerated to a tune by Danny Elfman's wonderful new wave band.
Julia’s First Victim in Hellraiser (1987)
Look, maybe being married has dulled my impulses. Maybe there's a reality where I would meet a woman at a bar who would take me back to her creepy place that doesn't seem to have a bed in it, who would lead me upstairs into a portion of the house that is more spiderweb and mold than wood, who would just kind of stand there as I stripped to my briefs, who would tell me to go into the attic, all without me ever saying "Huh, this seems weird. If this is my dating pool, maybe I should get my f***in' life together."
But the dude never does. He seems pretty gung-ho about heading into the darkest parts of the murder house boner first, so I'm gonna put the blame completely on him. Sure, she's technically leading him to his death, but come on, man. Have a little sense. Consider your options when someone tells you that they want to do you in the Haunted Mansion.
The Four Redneck Hunters in King Kong Lives (1986)
King Kong Lives is sleazy and gratuitous and wonderful. It's the only King Kong movie where Kong has sex. Did anyone in the whole world want to see Kong get down, much less KNOW that Kong COULD get down? No. But Kink Kong Lives exists in defiance of the laws of the world. And so do the plans of the four rednecks that hope to trap the titular gorilla.
I know that they're good ol' boys, so their strategy of "crush Kong in a ravine landslide" gets a pass. But they know about King Kong right? A giant gorilla climbed to the top of the biggest building in the most famous city in the world, and was only brought down by a combination of military helicopters and guys with flamethrowers. Apparently some guy in Louisiana thought "Hell, I bet I could do that. I HAVE three friends." He deserves to be Kong lunch.
Colonel Brock in Alligator (1980)
Alligator is this great 1980 post-Jaws cult film about the dangers of flushing your pet reptiles down the toilet. You don't want to do it, because they'll grow huge and eat people, but an even better reason for abstaining from croc flushing is because you might have to deal with Colonel Brock. Remember, in Jaws, there was that harpoonist Quint who was like "I'll kill the shark" and we were all like "This guy is AWESOME." Colonel Brock is sort of like that.
But instead of being awesome, he just hits on a reporter, acts racist around a bunch of local teens and then bribes those local teens so that they'll carry his guns. This all leads to him getting eaten exactly sixteen minutes after he first shows up, while the teens he bribed just run away without helping him. Pretty par for the course when you're that awful.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Halloween H20 (1998)
One of the greatest "This is what they were doing BEFORE they were famous!" cameos is Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Halloween H20. It's honestly one of my favorite roles of his, mainly because the movie doesn't even attempt to make him likable. A lady says her house was broken into, and Joseph decides to check it out despite her telling him not to. Then he tries to intimidate the unseen intruder with his hockey stick, and then steals some beer. Slasher movies have never been fond of teenagers, but the moral of Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character arc here seems to be "Teenagers: Even when they're helpful, they're sh**ty."
Oh, he gets an ice skate to the face, probably while he was about to illegally download music or pee in the middle of a Sam's Club or something. You know teenagers. They just suck, all the time, forever.
Reverend Zombie in Hatchet II (2010)
The Hatchet series has always had extravagant kill scenes. But what they don't really have is an abundance of villains. Even the slasher character, Victor Crowley, has a sad backstory. So what is Reverend Zombie's fate gonna be when he reveals that he's tricked his whole group into getting killed so that he can finally stop Victor Crowley? Must be something good.
He gets all of his skin pulled off. Well, half of it. Because he gets chopped in half first, and then Crowley pulls all of his skin off of his torso, face, and arms. This would really bother me, but not because of the skin-pulling thing, but because he didn’t pull my leg skin off, too. Gotta be a completionist, ya know?
Trey in Freddy vs Jason (2003)
After having sex with his girlfriend at his friend's house, he tells her "BABE, YOU KNOW I DON'T LIKE TO BE TOUCHED AFTER!" when she tries to cuddle. Just so you know, we've already seen a montage of Freddy Krueger's kills from previous movies, establishing him as the primary villain. So maybe that's part of the genius of the film: misdirection. You think you're gonna be against Freddy or Jason, but you actually end up hating TREY.
Trey then gets stabbed so hard through the bed that his internal organs start seeping out through the bed. And then Jason folds the fold-out bed, cracking Trey's spine. Did he need to fold the bed? No. But Jason knows a dick when he sees one.
Big Brain in The Hills Have Eyes (2006)
When you're in a family of inbred, radioactive mutants, you need some kind of a mastermind. Someone with half a brain that will make sure that Pluto, Mars and Papa Jupiter follow directions and wipe their own butts and such. You need a guy like Big Brain, who is the only mutant in The Hills Have Eyes that can conjure a complete sentence. Naturally, the power goes to Big Brain's, umm, head, and he starts getting all smug with the protagonist.
But while the protagonist eventually abandons Big Brain to save his baby daughter, the protagonist's dog doesn’t put up with any of Big Brain’s s***. So he tears Big Brain's throat out. Sure, it would have been satisfying to see a human knock off Big Brain, but it's so much better when, afterward, you can say "WHO'S A GOOD BOY? WHO ATE THE MUTANT LEADER? YOUUUUU DID."
Paul’s Death in Hannibal (2001)
In the span of two movies, the Hannibal Lecter series transformed from suspenseful and disturbing to straight-up slasher bonanzas. In Hannibal, the main villain has an army of giant pigs. So keep telling yourself that "Nuh uh. It's not a horror movie! It's a thriller." Giant pigs don't lie.
Another terrible person in Hannibal is Paul, played by Ray Liotta, Hollywood's go-to guy when you need a smarmy asshole being smarmy. He gets Clarice Starling suspended from her job, and since Hannibal Lecter has taken a liking to Clarice, Lecter kidnaps Paul and feeds Paul his own brain. I don't know where "unwittingly being fed your own brain" falls on the scale of revenge, but I imagine it's somewhere between outright murder and being forced to watch Hannibal Rising.